WILMINGTON — Bicycle racks, sustainable landscaping and preferred parking places for fuel-efficient vehicles have as much to do with creating a Green Building as optimizing energy performance and using recycled construction materials.
Wilmington College’s Center for the Sciences and Agriculture (CSA) was recognized for all that and much more as the largest academic facility on campus earned coveted Gold LEED certification.
The renovated and expanded former Kettering Science Hall went online in summer 2016.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council in which businesses and organizations apply to have their facilities undergo intense scrutiny in determining whether they meet national standards. Simple certification, albeit significant, reflects the basic LEED standard while silver, gold and platinum represent greater thresholds of achievement.
President Jim Reynolds said the desire to attain an advanced LEED certification was featured in the project plans from the start, so he is thrilled with the CSA going for the gold.
“This is really good news and speaks directly to our College’s commitment to environmental friendliness,” he said, noting the CSA was designed and built to specifications that ensured it, ultimately, is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.
Green Building practices ensure structures meet these high standards throughout a building’s life cycle, from siting, design and construction through operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.
The CSA earned rating points for scores of practices and processes involving such environmental issues as optimized energy performance, efficient HVAC, lighting and electrical systems, light pollution reduction, air quality and use of low-emitting construction materials like adhesives, sealants, paints, flooring and composite wood.
The facility also rated high for innovation of design, with judges specifically citing the building’s open spaces, and for the fact that more than 28 percent of building materials were manufactured using recycled resources.
The $14 million Center for the Sciences and Agriculture is comprised of the renovated 34,000 square-foot Kettering Science Hall and a 13,500 square-foot addition. The facility hosts 10 classrooms, 10 laboratories, three research labs, two 100-seat lecture halls and 30 offices.